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Festive Christmas brownies strike the perfect balance between fudgy and chewy with a crackled top, rich chocolate flavor, and warm gingerbread spices. And for the icing on the cake, they’re decorated with an easy 5-minute eggnog buttercream and holiday sprinkles!

overhead view of chrisstmas brownies recipe with eggnog frosting on top of crinkled wax paper

This festive treat is for the chocolate-lovers! Cookies are usually the go-to when it comes to Christmas dessert, but this year I wanted to make something along the same vein, but just a little bit different. Another easy baked good came to mind: brownies!

Speaking of brownies, have you seen my Nutella brownies? They’re 1-bowl-easy, and are completely addictive. After I recently made those brownies again to bring to a movie night at a friend’s house, I started thinking about other brownie flavors. And because we’re in the throes of the holiday season, gingerbread popped in my head.

hand holding gingerbread brownie decorated for christmas with bite to show fudgy texture

Now, I know you might be thinking that gingerbread brownies sound strange. But trust me here. If you enjoy flavor pairings like chocolate + ginger or chocolate + cinnamon, I think these will be right up your alley. Plus there’s a decadent dollop of eggnog buttercream on top and festive Christmas sprinkles to complete the ensemble!

If you’re looking for an easy baking project, this Christmas brownies recipe is it. These would also be a beautiful addition to a Christmas cookie tray, a fun treat for a holiday cookie exchange party, or a decadent addition to a Christmas dessert buffet table at your next holiday gathering!

christmas brownies on stoneware plate showing glossy crackle tops with frosting and sprinkles

Ingredients for the Best Christmas Brownies Recipe

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

From-Scratch Gingerbread Brownies Ingredients

gingerbread brownies ingredients with titles
  • Unsalted butter – for rich flavor and the perfect chewy + fudgy brownie texture
  • Vegetable oil – this helps make our brownies chewy; you can also use avocado oil or canola oil
  • Sugar – regular granulated white sugar is our main sweetener in this recipe
  • Light brown sugar – we use a touch of light brown sugar for notes of molasses and to help make our brownies chewy; also, molasses is an ingredient in traditional gingerbread, and in this recipe for gingerbread brownies we get molasses in the form of brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract – for flavor and aroma
  • Eggs – they act as a binder here
  • Extra egg yolk – for richness and to help create the perfect texture
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder is great in brownies because it adds rich, deep chocolate flavor
  • Flour – we only use a little bit of all-purpose flour here
  • Salt – a natural flavor enhancer
  • Instant espresso powder – this is optional; it helps pull out the flavor notes in the chocolate
  • Ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and black pepper – these warm spices create the perfect gingerbread spice flavor profile for these chocolate brownies; the black pepper might sound like an odd ingredient here, but it’s a classic in gingerbread, and adds just the right touch of spicy heat
  • 85% dark chocolate – we melt this and then stir it into the batter for an intensely rich chocolate flavor; make sure to use good-quality chocolate here

Eggnog Buttercream Ingredients

eggnog buttercream ingredients
  • Unsalted butter – this quick and easy eggnog buttercream uses a combination of butter and powdered sugar as the base; just like 5-minute vanilla buttercream, it’s a type of American buttercream
  • Vanilla extract – for flavor and aroma
  • Nutmeg – use freshly-grated nutmeg for the best flavor and aroma; nutmeg is what amps up our eggnog flavor
  • Salt – a natural flavor enhancer
  • Powdered sugar – along with butter, powdered sugar is one of the base ingredients in American buttercream
  • Eggnog – or heavy whipping cream

Other Ingredients

top view of easy christmas brownies with buttercream and sprinkles

Step-by-Step Photo Instructions

How to Make Brownies with Crackled Tops

This tip is useful for any type of brownies that you want to have crackled tops, not just gingerbread brownies!

how to make sure your brownies have a crackled top
  1. Heat the butter in the microwave or a double boiler until very hot. Add the white sugar and brown sugar.
  2. Whisk until well-combined (about 2 minutes). The key to crackly crinkle-topped brownies is to completely dissolve the sugar in the hot butter!

Finish Making the Brownie Batter

how to make gingerbread brownies
  1. Whisk in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolk until smooth.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, instant espresso powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and black pepper.
  3. Stir just until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  4. Stir in the melted chocolate.

Bake the Brownies

baking brownies
  1. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly.
  2. Bake until the brownies are set along the outside and have puffed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake. Cool to room temperature.

How to Make Eggnog Buttercream

how to make eggnog buttercream
  1. Once the brownies are cool, make the buttercream. Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
  2. Use a handheld electric mixer to beat until smooth and creamy. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with whatever tip you like.

Decorate the Brownies

decorating brownies for xmas

Cut the brownies into 16 pieces. Pipe a rosette of eggnog buttercream on top of each piece, and then decorate with festive sprinkles.

Storage

To store these frosted brownies, arrange them in a single layer in an airtight container. You can keep them covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, and after that move them to the fridge for up to 3 days more. Or you can freeze these brownies for up to 3 months.

close up of eggnog buttercream and christmas sprinkles on brownies

Festive Holiday Brownies FAQs

What Gives These Brownies Gingerbread Flavor?

The gingerbread flavor in this Christmas brownies recipe comes from the molasses in the brown sugar, as well as the gingerbread spices we use.

front view of holiday brownies on dark wooden table

How Do You Cut Brownies Cleanly?

There are 2 tricks to cutting brownies cleanly:

  1. Wait until the brownies have cooled to room temperature before cutting them.
  2. Use a large knife (one that spans the whole pan if possible), and rinse it under hot water and dry it well between each cut.
top view of holiday brownies with eggnog buttercream and christmas sprinkles

Do Brownies Need to be Refrigerated?

A lot of people ask “how long can you leave brownies at room temperature?”.

First, know that you don’t have to refrigerate brownies immediately. You can leave them at room temperature (either in their pan covered with plastic wrap or cut into squares and arranged in an airtight container) for up to 4 days.

But what about frosted brownies? For these brownies that are frosted with an American-style eggnog buttercream, you can leave them covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. After that, you can move them to the fridge for up to 3 days more.

More Gingerbread Recipes to Try

chewy chocolate gingerbread brownies decorated for christmas with sprinkles

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Gingerbread Christmas Brownies with Eggnog Buttercream Recipe

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Other Time1 hour
Yields: 16 servings
Festive Christmas brownies strike the perfect balance between fudgy and chewy with a crackled top, rich chocolate flavor, and warm gingerbread spices. And for the icing on the cake, they’re decorated with an easy 5-minute eggnog buttercream and holiday sprinkles!

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Ingredients
 

Gingerbread Brownies:

Eggnog Buttercream:

Instructions
 

For the Gingerbread Brownies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so it hangs over all 4 sides.
  • Heat the butter in the microwave or a double boiler until very hot. Add the white sugar and brown sugar, and whisk until well-combined (about 2 minutes). Whisk in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolk until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, instant espresso powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and black pepper, and stir just until combined, being careful not to over-mix. Stir in the melted chocolate.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake until the brownies are set along the outside and have puffed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake. Cool to room temperature.

For the Eggnog Buttercream:

  • Once the brownies are cool, make the buttercream.
  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and use a handheld electric mixer to beat until smooth and creamy. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with whatever tip you like.

To Decorate the Brownies:

  • Cut the brownies into 16 pieces. Pipe a rosette of eggnog buttercream on top of each piece, and then decorate with festive sprinkles. Serve.

Notes

  • Storage: To store these frosted brownies, arrange them in a single layer in an airtight container. You can keep them covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, and after that move them to the fridge for up to 3 days more. Or you can freeze these brownies for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 358IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas Brownies, Christmas Brownies Recipe, Gingerbread Brownies, Holiday Brownies, Xmas Brownies

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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